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Debate: American Exceptionalism

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Khornet, Dec 25, 2005.

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  1. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Resolved: this is the greatest country in the world.

    That belief is referred to as American Exceptionalism.

    I agree with it.

    Any takers?
     
  2. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Our economy and military is greater...in the sense of strength, yes.

    If, in this case, 'greater' is 'better' than no, i dont think we as a people are greater.
     
  3. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    I think it would also need to be defined in terms of system. Ours was the first nation developed as a nation of laws, not of men. The United States of American began with an idea, not a people, and in that way is markedly different from every nation out there. Other nations have followed our lead, but the USA was the first to ask that people be of a belief in freedom and of a commitment to law, not to be of a particular people group.

    I think this is why we Americans don't usually understand things such as the former Yugoslavia/Iraqi desires for separate nations for each group. That is how the rest of the world has historically done it.
     
  4. Janitor

    Janitor Senior Member

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    Maybe so, maybe so.

    When you use the word 'exceptionalism', are you applying it to America as a society, or towards the legal structure of our country? Is your belief that America is the greatest country your only view of how we're different than other countries?

    Technosavant has covered the largest difference that I would have wanted to- we are a country of ideals where others aren't. Not much I could add to that really.
    -
     
  5. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    Meaningless BS, and therefore not possible to debate.

    Merry Christmas, by the way! :D

    - Chris
     
  6. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    America at it worst is better than the rest of the world at its best.

    America is the only reason freedom still exists anywhere on the globe.
     
  7. Herself

    Herself member

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    The States were a country of ideals. Not so much these days -- when did anyone outside of .mil folks ever hear the U.S. referred to as "the Homeland" prior to the Recent Unpleasentness? Americans were, once upon a time, taken aback by people who referred to their country as "the Fatherland" or "the Motherland;" we knew our country was an artifact, a thing we had helped build and preseve, not some surrogate parent!

    Popular culture in the U. S. has bought very heavily into the notion of Folk and of bloodline, from the Left's obsession with sorting everyone out by "ethnic group"* to the Right's hangup about borders and "swarthy hordes" creeping in. It's a very bad sign.

    Used to be, you were an American if you could talk your way in and find work enough to keep yourself alive once you got in.

    For a lot of reasons, it isn't that way any more. Call it "exceptionalism," call it "jingoism," call it rampant do-gooding or short-sighted dog-in-the-manger pigheadedeness or perhaps all the above, but what it means is, for generations we and our fellow-citizens have allowed and enabled our government to twist and distort the United States away from what they had set out to be -- and we must deal with the consequences.

    As for "exceptionalism," the real question is, "exceptional for who?" I think tea-smoked duck is an exceptional dinner -- but the duck wouldn't agree.

    --Herself

    (Yes, yes, flame away. I'm a loathsome ingrate and far from properly respectful. Very comfy with that).
    ______________________
    * My ancestry is Scots, Cherokee, German and African -- and doesn't that confuse 'em! Every once in awhile, I get the urge to picket myself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2005
  8. GoRon

    GoRon Member

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    The United States is still the worlds "shining city upon a hill".
     
  9. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Our nation has had many advantages. Geography, ideology, immigration, etc.
     
  10. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Hah! Got some rises with this one

    American Exceptionalism refers to the view that this nation is unique in its founding ideals, political philosophy, love of freedom, rule of law, and generous spirit. I do buy that.

    There are those of us who look at America and can only see her many faults.
    There are those who see only her virtues, and are blind to her faults.

    Then there are those who see and regret her faults, but love her still because they see that her virtues remain, and far outweigh her faults.

    I place myself in that last category. It's hard to see how anyone can claim to love America when his instant response to my proposition is to recite everything shameful in our history.
     
  11. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    American Exceptionalism -- I agree.

    -Geography has given us a defensible position and great resources
    -The right to keep and bear arms has given us true independence
    -The Founding Fathers created a system that fosters and protects the person over the state
    -The melting pot has given us the best and brightest talents, ideas and products from every country in the world - and I would argue that the USA is the most accepting and tolerant nation today.
    -"The Rich" is not just a class in America. It's a destination anyone can achieve.

    Outside the U.S., there is no reason every country should not be just as exceptional. The government just has to get out of the way.
     
  12. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I believe there is more to it than that.

    I do agree the government needs to get out of the way, but it is the philosophy of the American people, their attitudes toward self-reliance, freedom, and individualism that made this a great nation.

    Our forefathers came here with a desire to create a new free country. Freedom was not forced upon them by an invading army. It was not handed to them on a silver platter by liberators. It was forged from nothing but their own free will, perseverance, and the grace of our creator.

    It takes more than government, or the lack thereof, to make a great nation.
     
  13. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Having lived almost a third of my 53 years outside the US in it's service and having lived In or visited all the nations of western europe, 2 in eastern europe, the old Soviet Union, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, most of north and west africa and all the nations of south america except those on the north east coast and the land locked ones I can categorically and with exceptional credibility say that:

    YES! The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the best.

    We're the most moral, the best fed, have the strongest economy, the most freedom, and the strongest military. Ain't no other country on the planet that more people are trying to get into and that means a hell of a lot of folks don't think their current country is the best.

    How many Americans emmigrate every year - DAMN FEW! That's how many!

    WE AREN'T PERFECT BUT WE'RE STILL THE BEST!

    Don't think we're the cat's meow - then name one country that's better?
     
  14. Graystar

    Graystar Member

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    I agree that we're the best, not only because we're good (need some improvement, but still good) but also because the rest of the world is so bad.

    Those liberal democrats cracked me up on the last election. Bush won, so they’re ready to leave this country for…CANADA!

    (not to mention disclosing their belief of democracy for all as long as you vote our way :rolleyes: )
     
  15. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    All I can say, is that it is the best for me. I would not care to live elsewhere.
    I'm sure that folks from different countries hold the same opinion about their country. I do think we are more adaptive and resilient than most. If you don't like the status quo, there is hope for change at least twice a decade.
     
  16. cz75bdneos22

    cz75bdneos22 Member

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    I love the U.S.A.
    It is my home...
    I choose to make it so...
    I will die in defense of the country anytime, anywhere anyhow...
    However, I could live the rest of my life in plenty of other countries
    as a matter of fact when i turn 65...i'm going to Utilla in Hondura's eastern coast to retire amongst Friends...YMMV
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2005
  17. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Throughout history there have been "exceptional" societies that advanced the light of civilization. We are in that direct line and are the latest and the greatest.
     
  18. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Honestly, there are many states and cities in this country I no longer regard as part of the same nation I live in. I have as little in common with the people in NYC or Southern California as I do with the people in Paris or Hong Kong. Some of them are real nice, but we don't see the world in the same way. We are not the same people, and I doubt we ever will be. The notion of a unifying federal identity is actually repugnant to me. The union has some advantages, but these advantages come with an increasingly high pricetag. I think Alaska is the best place on the planet. I'm not sure I could say the same thing about the U.S.--unless you let me cut out a few sections. :D
     
  19. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Oh, come on, Cosmo, you'll always have a place here in SoCal.:D

    Alaska is more like California than it is like Paris or Hong Kong. Hey, we used to have a lot of grizzlies down here about 150 years ago, so they tell me.
     
  20. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    I agree with the idea that America is the greatest nation but I disagree with calling it "American Exceptionalism"; such a name is not appropriate.

    We measure how well a nation is doing by its immigration; those migrating to a nation. By that measure the USA is the #1 destination!

    We need to keep folks out!
     
  21. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

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    No doubt about this - I've lived off-shore in two "good" countries (New Zealand and Switzerland) for extended periods of time as a civilian and neither would even begin to compare with what we take for granted here.
     
  22. BADUNAME4

    BADUNAME4 Member

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    People are the same everywhere. That's why oppressive nations generate next to nothing in the way of innovation, but the same people often become our best scientists and doctors once they flee to the United States.
     
  23. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Wonderful answers, all!

    Camp David,

    I mean by that term that there has never been a country like this in history. I think that is true.

    Don't know who said it, but whoever it was said that for one to love his country, his country should be lovely.

    There are plenty of blemishes on the face of America, though I suspect that there would be strong disagreement here about which of them are blemishes and which are actually beauty marks. I find her lovely, and the longer I live I find her more so.

    Let it be noted, please, that even if you think America stinks, even if you are ashamed of her, in this country you can stand up in public and say so without going to jail or worse. In fact, you can be elected to office. Never has there been a nation like this. It's not her strength, not her influence, not her wealth. None of that. It is the core principles which, though often violated these days, make it possible for anyone of any race, color, background, or faith to fully enjoy what she has to offer.

    AND I think we can all agree here, that it is the right of the citizen to be armed against the power of the state which makes us a free nation. Thank God for that. Merry Christmas to all my fellow THR members!
     
  24. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Well, far be it from me to brag and boast, but when was the last time you heard of millions upon millions of people sneaking into France or Mexico or Iran or Zimbabwe?
     
  25. HankB

    HankB Member

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    The premise "America is the Best" is put to a vote every day.

    People vote with their feet.

    Name one country - not just some stinking pestilential turd world dungheap, but ANY country - where there are more people leaving the USA to go there than there are people leaving there to come here.

    Until you can show me such a country, the topic doesn't merit serious debate.
     
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